A magnificent, unbeaten 94 from Sean Ervine sent Durham packing on the third day of their match against Hampshire at Basingstoke. The visitors began the day as favourites, needing another five wickets which would have lofted them to the top of the Championship. But Hampshire denied them, with Ervine reining in his naturally attacking instincts to nurture the tail. And it was the presence of Liam Dawson, the much-hyped England Under-19 batsman, who helped Ervine in Hampshire's chase of 240, as the pair put on 94 for the sixth wicket. Dawson was dropped on 19, and later Dimitri Mascarenhas was put down on 11, as Durham's nerves began to show. They kept plucking away at the wickets, reducing Hampshire to 219 for 8, but Ervine found good support in Imran Tahir as the pair knocked off the runs with ease.
A fine 128 from Mark Wagh has put Nottinghamshire in command of their match against Sussex, the title holders, on the third day at Hove. It was Wagh's first first-class century for 13 months and, along with Matthew Wood (98), the pair put on a fourth-wicket stand of 173 to dent Sussex's attack. Wagh cracked nine fours and two sixes before attempting a lofted drive off James Kirtley but could only find mid-off. And two runs before his own century, Wood played across the line to the same bowler as Sussex fought back with a double breakthrough. However, Chris Read (38*) and Rob Ferley (26) lofted Nottinghamshire's total to 558 for 7, at which point Read declared. At stumps Sussex were 7 without loss, still trailing by 212 runs.
Lancashire's match against Surrey at Blackpool has yet to begin, as the third day was abandoned once again to rain.
Click here for John Ward's third-day report from Scarborough, where Yorkshire moved into a strong position over Kent.
Northamptonshire took complete control on the third day against Glamorgan at Wantage Road, with Niall O'Brien cracking 168 and Lance Klusener a brutal and unbeaten 202. O'Brien, resuming on 99, nudged the single to reach his century and then began to motor, picking 14 from one Robert Croft over while Klusener also clattered fours at the other end. The pair's 200 stand came up but O'Brien fell soon after when he was stumped off Dean Cosker, eight runs short of surpassing his career-best. Klusener, though, was relentless and notched his second hundred of the season before racing onwards after tea. Monty Panesar gave him excellent support in the final session, and Northamptonshire declared shortly after Klusener reached his highest first-class score on 202. Just for good measure, he held onto a strong drive by Gareth Rees at mid-on as Glamorgan went to stumps on 28 for 1, trailing by 173.
Chris Rogers, the recently appointed Derbyshire captain, cracked a superb 237 and remained unbeaten at the end of the third day at Edgbaston, as his side fought off Warwickshire to reach 462 for 7. Warwickshire, who posted 476 for 9 in their first innings, were unable to threaten Rogers and Paul Borrington, the pair putting on 176 for the opening stand - the highest first-wicket partnership of the season. Borrington fell for 62 just after lunch, playing across the line to Ian Salisbury, but Rogers continued unabated to register his hundred with a straight-driven four. He was given useful support at the other end from Wavell Hinds (a breezy 40) and Tom New (44), though Salisbury maintained an impressive line to give Warwickshire something to cheer. With Rogers unbeaten, however, Derbyshire have made this contest all but a stalemate with one day to go.
County Championship Division Two
England Domestic Season
County Championship Division One